High Mount School - Home Of The Trojans

January 8th, 2021 Superintendent's Message

Dear HMS Families/Guardians,

I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well. During this unprecedented time, our schedules have changed, and changed again. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding. To help with a few organizational details, I wanted to send out this communication regarding the next two weeks. I have also included data that we have gathered from quarter one and quarter two.

- All teachers will be provided a professional development opportunity on Thursday, January 14th and Friday, January 15th. What does this mean for your child(ren)?

-- Thursday, January 14th will be an asynchronous day of instruction. This means students will be expected to complete all school work as usual. However, teachers will not be meeting “live” with their students on this day. Please note though, work provided by the teacher must be completed and attendance will be based upon the completed work. Therefore, it is important that all work is completed.

-- Friday, January 15th will be an e-learning planning day. This means that the 15th will not be a day of student attendance. No school work will be provided to students to complete and students can enjoy an extended weekend.

- There is no student attendance on Monday, January 18th in order to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

- Students who opt to, will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 19th using the same schedule as quarter one and two.

The third quarter begins on January 19th. That said, after two quarters of having the choice to attend in-person learning or remote, we have some insight and data I would like to share. To begin, after analyzing student grades, we have identified that our in-person learners are experiencing more academic success than our remote learners. This is true for many school districts around the state. There are many reasons why this is the case, but physically being in a classroom with a certified teacher is certainly more impactful upon students. Please don’t misconstrue my statement. I realize many parents are working and have several children (who are remote learners) at home, in which you are supporting. Everyone at HMS applauds your efforts! Yet, it is no secret that this is simply a daunting task for any parent to sustain.

Secondly, we are finding that generally speaking, many remote learners are not logging into classes on a regular basis, or if they do, are not attending for the entire session. The following excerpt was taken from Leadership Matters, a monthly newsletter that is created by The Illinois Association of School Administrators. “Because of COVID-19 concerns of 1.9 million students, nearly 1.2 million are remote only. Fewer than 600,000 are hybrid and around 170,000 are in-person. That’s according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education. Anecdotal reports are that around a quarter of students in remote-learning districts aren’t logging in to remote classes.”

Clearly this data suggests that some of the struggles HMS may be experiencing with remote learning is part of a larger statewide problem. So parents, thank you for helping us address this concern. We must continue to work together for the success of your child(ren). Please continue to ensure that your child(ren) are regularly attending class virtually and submitting classwork on time.

Next, we are seeing, nationwide, the influx of students experiencing social and emotional problems as a result of this pandemic. We all know it is healthy for students to interact with their peers, yet COVID-19 has hindered this as well. We have our social worker very busy at HMS addressing student and parent concerns. Please reach out to Mrs. Worster if you need assistance or resources at aworster@highmountschool.net. Mrs. Worster would be more than happy to work with your family.

The final data point I would like to address is that we know the transmission of COVID-19 at schools is extremely low. Since beginning school in August we have had only 2 students who tested positive for the virus. It is important to note that in both cases, the virus was not transmitted at school or spread at school. This illustrates that the many safety measures we have in place are proving to be very effective. Safety is always a top priority! It is shown that schools are a safe place for children.

All of the above information is to convey that we feel our safety measures in place have been successful and we welcome our remote learners to return in-person. It is much easier to build those important relationships between teachers and students by being present at school. The interaction between the students, teachers, and peers is much more natural when physically present. More one-on-one attention can be received while learning in-person. As educators, we long to have our students back in the building. However, I realize this is a parental choice and I respect any decision that you make for your child(ren).

Since January 19, 2021 begins the third quarter of school, we are again asking you to declare if your child(ren) will be starting the third quarter remotely. *Please note, students cannot flip back and forth between remote and in-person learning as they wish. Therefore, if there will be a change in the manner your child is attending school, please contact your child’s teacher or Kelsey Emmons at kemmons@highmountschool.net or by calling 233-1054 by January 11, 2021. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you wish to continue with your current status of remote or in-person.

Again, your parental decision will be respected. We all understand there is no “right or wrong” decision regarding this pandemic, and as a parent, you must be comfortable with your choice. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, Principal Wilkerson, or your child’s teacher. Thank you for your continued support!


Dr. Beth A. Horner
High Mount School

School Announcements

Friday, January 15th is an e-Learning Planning Day. No School.

Monday, January 18th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No school.

Tuesday, January 19th we resume with in-person learning for those families who have chosen this option.

Pre-Kindergarten Sign Up:
If you are interested in Pre-Kindergarten, please open and complete the FORM linked here.

Staff Vacancy:
High Mount School is announcing a vacancy for School Social Worker (LSW). Deadline to apply - February 1, 2021. Click here for notice and instructions.


When you need to talk OR want to anonymously report a concern use the High Mount School SAFE 2 TALK form.

If you are uncomfortable or concerned about the safety or well being of yourself, family, friends or classmates, use this form to anonymously report it. You are SAFE 2 TALK about any problem without using your name, so report it and let us help. It's SAFE 2 TALK.

If this is an emergency, call 911 for immediate help from paramedics, police, fire, or ambulance.

School Events Calendar

School History

The first school, consisting of one room, was built in 1880. By 1960, eight additional classrooms and a basement were added. In 1967, six more rooms and a multi-purpose room were added. In 1992, the new gym and two classrooms were added and extensive remodeling was completed. In April, 2001, the community voted to help High Mount expand the school. This expansion provided needed space for the growing student population, storage areas, and allowed for enhancements to the curriculum.

In 2003, great things happened again. Construction of a new wing began. We now have new and additional classrooms, band/chorus music room, science laboratory and new offices. In 2006 we installed an electronic marquee and constructed a new main entry-way.